Women's tennis downs UK, finishes SEC season 9-1

The third-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team finished the regular season 20-2, 9-1 in the SEC, with a 5-2 victory Saturday over No. 21 Kentucky at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center. Meanwhile the 22nd-ranked men's tennis team lost a 4-3 match to No. 17 Kentucky at Lexington.

NASHVILLE-- The third-ranked Vanderbilt women's tennis team matched its best Southeastern Conference record ever Saturday with a 5-2 victory over No. 21 Kentucky at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center. It marked the regular season finale for both teams.

The Commodores earned an early 3-0 advantage, then sealed the match when No. 1 singles player Audra Falk withstood a second set rally by Kentucky's Ailbika Kalsarieva to win 6-4, 7-5. Vanderbilt concludes the regular season 20-2 overall, 9-1 in the SEC. The Commodores will return to action next weekend, playing host to the SEC Championships.

Vanderbilt raced to an early lead on the strength of solid doubles play. The Commodores' twosome of Falk and Annie Menees got the early advantage, defeating the Wildcats' Lara Maurer and Kim Coventry 8-4. Vanderbilt captured the doubles point when Ashley Schellhas and Amanda Fish defeated Joelle Schwenk and Christine Simpson 8-4.

Tsoubanos, playing in the final regular season match of her Commodore career, put Vanderbilt up 2-0 with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Maurer, Kentucky's No. 3 singles player. Fish increased the team vantage to 3-0 with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Schwenk, her No. 4 singles counterpart.

After Kentucky's Sarah Foster gave the Wildcats their first point by winning the No. 2 singles match, Falk won her eight consecutive singles match with a hard-fought 6-4, 7-5 victory over Kalsarieva, Kentucky's No. 1 singles player. Falk's victory proved the decisive point in Vanderbilt's team win.

The Commodores reached 20 wins for an eighth consecutive season. It is the team's ninth 20-win campaign in Coach Geoff Macdonald's 10-year tenure with the squad. Vanderbilt returns to action in the SEC Championships, with first round action starting this Thursday morning at the Currey Tennis Center. The SEC tournament will feature three of the top five teams in women's tennis.

1. Tsoubanos/Schmandt (VU) def. Kalsarieva/S. Foster (UK) 8-6
2. Falk/Menees (VU) def. Maurer/Coventry (UK) 8-4
3. Schellhas/Fish (VU) def. Schwenk/Simpson (UK) 8-4
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1 

1. Audra Falk (VU) def. Aibika Kalsarieva (UK) 6-4, 7-5
2. Sarah Foster (UK)def. Kelly Schmandt (VU) 6-3, 6-1
3. Aleke Tsoubanos (VU) def. Lara Maurer (UK) 6-1, 6-1
4. Amanda Fish (VU) def. Joelle Schwenk (UK) 6-2, 6-0
5. Ashley Schellhas (VU) def. Kim Coventry (UK) 7-6, 4-6, (12-10)
6. Christine Simpson (UK) def. Annie Menees (VU) 7-5, 6-3
Order Of Finish: 3, 4, 2, 1*, 5, 6 

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The 22nd-ranked Vanderbilt men's tennis team won the doubles point but could only manage a pair of singles wins in a 4-3 loss at No. 17 Kentucky Saturday.

The Commodores rallied after losing at third doubles to win on the first two courts and take the initial team point. Senior Chad Harris and junior Scott Brown defeated UK's Jesse Witten and Rahim Esmail at first doubles, 8-5, before seniors Zach Dailey and Lew Smith secured the doubles point with an 8-3 win over Evan Austin and Alex Hume.

But Vanderbilt could not carry the momentum into singles play as the Wildcats took four straight victories to register the dual-match victory. Senior Zach Dailey won a point for the Commodores at fourth singles. With Dailey up one set to love, his opponent, Nate Emge, retired.

Junior Scott Brown took a straight-set victory at second singles, defeating Austin, 6-3, 6-4, to bring the final score of the match to 4-3.

The Commodores return home to play host to Tulane on Sunday, April 11, at 1 p.m.

No. 17 Kentucky 4, No. 22 Vanderbilt 3
1. No. 46 Brown/Harris (VU) def. No. 14 Esmail/Witten (UK) – 8-5
2. Dailey/Smith (VU) def. Austin/Hume (UK) – 8-3
3. Emge/Martirosyan (UK) def. Lockin/Sossaman (VU) – 8-4

1. No. 8 Jesse Witten (UK) def. No. 24 Chad Harris (VU) – 6-1, 6-0
2. No. 65 Scott Brown (VU) def. Evan Austin (UK) – 6-3, 6-4
3. No. 103 Tigran Martirosyan (UK) def. No. 64 Matt Lockin (VU) – 6-2, 7-5
4. No. 76 Zach Dailey (VU) def. Nate Emge (UK) – 7-5, def.
5. Rahim Esmail (UK) def. Lewis Smith (VU) – 6-2, 6-2
6. Alex Hume (UK) def. Nathan Sachs (VU) – 6-3, 6-0

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